Ross leaves PC World behind for Filtered Media

By Phil Sim in Media News on
IDG’s PC World is on the lookout for a new editor, with Nick Ross’ long and colourful career as a technology journalist winding up next month as he becomes the latest hack to flip across into content marketing.
 
Ross will join Filtered Media, the content marketing firm founded by another former technology journalist Mark Jones, in four weeks time.
 
“It’s sad to be leaving journalism, but I’m looking forward to doing something different”, Ross told Influencing.
 
Because as Ross points out, technology journalism has “been my life” for the last 15 years. Ross arrived in Australia from the UK in 2005 to take on the role of editor of PC Authority, before embarking on a number of considerable challenges. These included founding his own digital magazine publishing entity, launching a tech-focused site on the ABC network, taking over the PC World editorship and having a crack at a publishing-tech start-up.
 
And while his new role in content marketing, is certainly another change-up, he doesn’t believe it will be all that different to the work he has been doing at PC World.
 
“What I’ve been doing for the past year and a half, has pretty much been content marketing, SEO optimisation with a bit of journalism mixed in,” he said.
 
“So really I’ll be doing much the same thing, just for private companies.”
 
Ross points out that his most recent job description, shows just how much the world of journalism has changed over the last decade.
 
“A lot of what I do now is marketing content, so as it comes on top of Google,” he said. “A huge proportion of publisher’s traffic these days comes from Google so if you’re going to write a review you’ve also got to know how to get it to the top of Google.”
 
Ross said he was attracted to working at Filtered, in particular, because he felt that CEO Mark Jones “gets the whole media landscape is changing weekly,” and with the gradual decline in the journalism ranks he feels that content marketing can only increase its share of the marketing pie

Not that Ross hasn’t given his best, at trying to do something positive for the publishing sector. For the past couple of years, Ross has been trying to launch a micro-payment start-up called Nanotransactions that would let readers pay tiny amounts based on factors like the amount of time they spent on a site. However, like his journalism career, Nanotransactions is being shelved for the moment.
 
That was result of being “badly let down” by his technical partners that had promised to build out the service, but had failed to get the product to launch.
 
“It was meant to be four weeks of work away from launch in March last year. By October, I was saying to them “where is it”? In the meantime, I’d been offered trials with publications in Australia like the SMH, and one large overseas player, and everyone was “sounds great, show it to us, and we’re interested”.

“But they just never delivered, so I’ve cut them loose and stopped it for now.”
 
Certainly Ross’s career has had its high and lows, probably more so than most. He said he was immensely proud, in the first instance, at reversing declining circulation at PC Authority, the role his journalism played in the battle against video game classification, as well as his epic NBN pieces, which were the centre of so much attention — both good and bad.
 
The bad, of course, were accusations that as a journalist at a public broadcaster, Ross wasn’t fulfilling his role of writing objectively about the project. That turned into a Media Watch controversy that even roped in now-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It’s an experience Ross described as “incredibly hurtful”.
 
“I learnt a lot about stress, anxiety and depression when Media Watched lied about that, and it was certainly the biggest low point of my career, and I don’t think I can ever forgive them,” Ross said. “However, I’m glad I was able to leave the ABC with my integrity intact.”
 
Ross hasn’t ruled out a return to journalism at some point down the track, but equally it’s not something he’s giving any active consideration to. He’ll remain at PC World for the next four weeks, where he’ll be focused on getting whoever takes over the position, trained up for the role.

“There aren’t too many reviewers out there with a lot of SEO experience, so the sooner we can get someone on board, the more help I can give them brushing up their skills in that area,” he said.
 
The position involves overseeing IDG’s two B2C mastheads, PC World and Good Gear Guide, with requirements as follows: 
 
  • Proven ability to review technology products.
  • An understanding of SEO and how to create content that is fundamentally justified by the Google-related traffic it brings in.
  • Ability to self-edit and publish grammatically-correct content without any other proof reading.
  • Be able to work with the commercial team, helping generate leads and building industry relationships without compromising editorial integrity.
  • Have a strong relationship with Australian technology industry and PR.
  • Ability to commission and edit third-party-written content.
  • Ability to write separate advertorial and custom content for the publisher and their clients.
  • Have moderate photography skills including editing.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics.
  • Be able to work with a multimedia-rich Content Management System.

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Hill appointed as Junkee GM

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Junkee Media has hired Meisha Hill to be the company’s new general manager.

Mumbrella reported that Hill’s entry is a part of a staff restructuring. She came back to Australia after nearly seven years in the US, where she was AGM of the New York Times’ advertising division, T-Brand Studio, and handled sales and product marketing at Tremor Video. She had previously worked at the Telstra Advertising Network before relocating to the US in 2012.

Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland said Hill’s experience with T-brand, especially in developing high-quality branded material, will be critical to the company’s growth down the road.

“Junkee is a forward-thinking publisher and agency with incredible momentum and major plans for the future. I’m excited to join the leadership team and to own the operational functions of the business,” said Hill.

Follow Hill on LinkedIn.

Northsider magazine enters into circulation

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Residents of Sydney’s lower North Shore now have a quarterly magazine that is all about their communities, called Northsider.

As reported on Mumbrella, the Northsider will cover the districts of McMahons Point, Lavender Bay, Milsons Point, Kirribilli and North Sydney.  

Former That’s Life deputy editor Anna Gordon and art director Belinda Spillane, former Look magazine art director Angela Joseph, and ex-UK Women’s Health chief sub-editor Frances Pearson have teamed up to produce the magazine. The pilot issue features articles on noted residents and information on various events in the area.

Gordon said the reception to the magazine has been positive and plans for a second issue are being considered.

Follow the Northsider on Facebook.

Burling steps in as Nine’s new director, replacing Calvert

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The opening day of the new Nine-Fairfax merger has gone well for Steve Burling - with a new appointment as director for morning television operations following the sudden exit of his predecessor, Mark Calvert.

Nine national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick said Burling is vacating the executive producer position at A Current Affair to become EP of Today, with his directorial responsibilities also covering Today Extra and Weekend Today. He had been ACA’s EP for the past year.

The move is also cascading into other positions. Current Nine deputy news director for Sydney Fiona Dear assumes the EP chair at A Current Affair and she in turn will have Meredith Marks as her successor.

In explaining the move, Wick said Dear is inheriting from Burling a show that is in strong shape while Marks’ experience in handling EP work during various breaking-news stories would be vital in Nine’s restructuring of the news division.

New Idea adds royal feature insert

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

New Idea magazine has introduced a special insert loaded with the hottest news from the British royal family, called New Idea Royals.

Released with this week’s issue of New Idea, New Idea Royals magazine is intended to enhance Pacific Magazines’ reach in covering all stories coming out of Buckingham Palace. The pilot edition of Royals is themed around celebrating the holidays with Queen Elizabeth II. 

New Idea currently operates a special Royals podcast and social media accounts.

Bath takes on Ten weekend news

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Chris Bath is coming to Network Ten in 2019 as the news host of Saturday/Sunday show 10 News First.

Network director of news content Ross Dagan said Bath’s experience and “fantastic” character made her a strong addition to the 10 News First team.

Bath brings with her over 20 years’ experience in TV news, with her career encompassing roles at Seven, Prime, and NBN TV. Bath will remain as host of ABC Radio’s Evenings with Chris Bath.

“I’ve been a visitor to Network 10 these past few years and have always loved the friendly, upbeat vibe of the place, so I’m really excited to be officially a permanent part of the team,” said Bath of her appointment.

Follow Bath on Twitter @ChrisBathTV and on LinkedIn.

SKY News welcomes fresh newsroom staff

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

SKY News has started the week with the appointment of two new positions for 2019.

Chris Willis is coming in as the new executive editor for news and link. Based out of the SKY News Sydney media centre, Willis will manage the content for live news broadcasts and national affairs programs, bringing with him 12 years of experience running Seven’s newsroom. He had recently exited consultancy company The Change Warehouse.

The Australian’s content and video news producer Sam Duncan is joining SKY News as its new integrated video producer. His new responsibility will be to produce and distribute the SKY News content to NewsCorp Australia mastheads.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of leading media executive Chris Willis to the team, who will spearhead our editorial and programming operations in this new strategic leadership role. Chris brings a wealth of experience to Sky News having run one of Australia’s biggest newsrooms for more than a decade. Chris and

Network Ten puts Belling on Studio 10

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Network Ten has assigned newsreader Natarsha Belling to morning show Studio 10, effective January 2019.

Ten network news content director Ross Dagan said Belling’s character and her experience as a journalist rendered her a natural for the permanent Studio 10 assignment. She has been handling Ten Eyewitness News Weekend since 2014 and was a substitute Studio 10 host on several occasions.

“Mornings are when the big stories break, and I’m incredibly proud to be delivering our viewers the very latest on the news stories that shape and change their lives as they develop across the morning,” said Belling.

Belling’s new opportunity came as the show is also hiring Tamara Simoneau as permanent executive producer. She will assume the duties on January 14, 2019 from acting EP Lucy de Luca, who is stepping down for personal reasons.

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